Hysterically Myself

I acted very strangely today. As I sit and reflect on it, waiting for my mum to be ready so we can bake together (which we haven’t done for years), I realise just how odd I was. Not bad odd – I acted like myself. Let me explain why that’s weird to me.

 

Today was a Friday; I’m always a little more happy on Fridays because it’s the end of the week. I spy an end to exhaustion but that’s always tempered by the knowledge that next week, the exhaustion will start again. It’s partly because I never get enough sleep but it’s also because I seem to live in a perpetual state of terror. Last night, something broke that cycle. Last night, I got a little less than 9 hours of proper sleep.

 

Sleep didn’t solve all my problems, of course, but it set the tone of the day to be not so drab and draining. I didn’t wake up this morning wanting to utterly crawl back inside my bed: I didn’t jump up with purpose because that hasn’t happened in years but I at least didn’t feel like I was about to genuinely expire. This was surprising to me because every single day I’ve woken up for the last few months, possibly longer, I’ve hated myself and wanted to scream. I wish I was exaggerating.

 

I ate something – not a lot, but I’ve been having really bad problems with eating lately and so at least it was something. After that, I sent a mildly panicked email to my history teacher: I kept repeating, over and over in my head, that I needed to do it so that I’d remember. Again, that set a quite manic (although I don’t like using that word) tone to the day. The point is that I did it; I stuck to a resolution which I haven’t done for weeks.

 

When I got into school, this weird mindset continued. I was quite spaced out when talking to a teacher but my reality snapped back into focus as soon as I was by myself. Apart from a few brief moments of anger when I thought about a couple of issues I’ve been having with my plans for next year – I’ll talk about that in a separate post – I didn’t feel like the world was hopeless.

 

In history, I was almost wild with how much I laughed. I did my work as much as I could, breaking off occasionally to hurl insults at my friend Red – you can read about some of my friends here. My eyes were wide but I smiled, only becoming upset with myself a couple of times. Compared with how it usually goes, it was an achievement; I have to take stock in little victories.

 

For the first time in a while – and yes, there’s a pattern here – I worked productively in my free periods. At break, I had talked with Wren and Swan, really feeling included and like they thought I wasn’t the worst person alive. I’ve been having serious self-esteem problems for, well, ever so this was a breath of fresh air. Then, I didn’t think about how much I was terrified I’d be left alone; I let my thoughts go a bit and tried to bring myself back to a time when I could smile without feeling fear. I worked until I felt ill, making notes at a furious pace and absolutely refusing to stop. That was, until Red and another girl he does Classics with found me and we talked until they had to leave. It was so nice to feel not unhappy about how much work I was doing but in also being forced to take a break. I didn’t feel guilty for that, apart from an irrational piece of guilt that I stomped on .

 

Walking to english was my favourite part of the day. I’d laughed at lunch again, barely feeling the insecurity that creeps up on me whenever I spend time with people now. With my friend Swan, I sang along to possibly the greatest song ever. As we got into the lesson, Swan was doing her seagull-laugh and falling on the floor; I was just standing there howling and leaning on a desk. That was how our teacher found us and as this is a usual occurrence, she barely made any comment. Throughout that lesson, I felt calm and not like I was about to cry whenever I thought about making a contribution. It was like how I’d acted at the beginning of year 12. I didn’t feel free but I didn’t feel trapped, either. At some point, I’ll write a post about how amazing my english teacher is because she pretty much saved me from breaking down several times.

 

Getting home was a bit of an ordeal because I started to “fade” again before I started writing this post. However, I won’t dwell on that because it’ll detract from the day. What I know is that I’m capable of not feeling so awful. It may not last – it probably won’t – but this was a respite from how I usually treat myself.

 

It may seem like this day was entirely positive and perhaps it was but this doesn’t mean that every day is going to be like this. I need to be realistic because even when I was happy, there was an almost hysterical quality to it. I didn’t want to stop the feeling but something in me knew that I shouldn’t feel this energetic all the time. Is that just my brain refusing to let me be happy or is it right? I don’t know.

 

I am capable of returning to who I was. Not even that – I have always been this, right up to now; I’m just letting that side show. It’s been so long that I’ve been myself, above all to myself, that I forgot what I was like. Now, I remember.

 

Even just a little bit, I remember. And I hope other people do too and that “myself” won’t be stifled.

 

Do you have days where you remember what you’re truly like? How do they make you feel?

 

From Elm 🙂

Being Open and Other Emotions

As I start writing this, I’m listening to music far too loudly; I’m singing along in a mumbled kind of way and I suppose, for now, I’m content for a little slice of time. Not happy but closer to it than I’ve been for a good few weeks.

Yesterday, in counselling, I was the most honest I’d ever been. In no uncertain terms, I told my counsellor how worthless I felt, how unworthy of anything I thought I was and how, no matter how many people tell me a list of qualities I have, my brain just doesn’t believe them even if I know it’s a little bit true. It’s a complicated issue that has been inside my head for as long as I can remember.

My friends are amazing and I know that what they say is true to them but I get absolutely incredulous when I even think “Oh, you are a good person then?” because my brain refuses to think about the possibility of letting myself fly because I’m terrified of disappointment. As my counsellor said, I keep myself down so that I don’t get disappointed by myself and it’s a fucking horrible way to think and live but it’s what I feel pretty much constantly. As you can tell, I get exhausted by it.

It hurt so much to talk about. Unlike with situations that have happened to me, there isn’t a direct cause to this. It has come about as a result of years of thinking I’m awful and I can’t just change that in a summer or a few months. I need myself and others to understand that this is not simple – I got the closest to breaking down in that session than I have before because it made me feel wretched as fuck and hopeless, too. In counselling, it’s rare that I get really, directly upset about something and show that externally, as I spoke about me and others being unable to understand because I didn’t want to tell them I didn’t believe them in case they gave up on me and left. But here’s the thing: I spoke about it.

Recently, I’ve become quite closed off, keeping rigidly to the view that nothing good will happen, nothing will come of anything so what’s the point of speaking because no one cares – that kind of thing. I broke that yesterday, getting animated and visibly upset – no “blank slate”, no hiding and I lied about nothing. I talked about some of the most terrifying feelings I had, both positive and negative – the distinction being that I hated having the negative feelings but the only thing that upset me about the positive feelings were how much they could fuck me up.

An example of negative feelings that I spoke about in a number of sessions was a time, three weeks ago, when I was walking in my school before lessons started. I listed, systematically and brutally, every single reason why I thought people should hate me, why they already did and why I should hate myself more. It was vicious, almost mentally violent and afterwards, I went to the toilets and sobbed because it hurt so much to despise myself like that. Since then I’ve never got that bad but I refuse to pretend it’s all gone away and I don’t have the energy to shut it all down and fake shit.

I think i’m still recovering from how much stuff I said yesterday. I’m not used, now, to explaining things like this to someone who doesn’t assume my feelings or dismiss them. At the end of the session, I said to her – when she asked – that I knew what I’d done, how open I’d been and that it was something to be proud of but still, I wasn’t letting myself be proud of me because I couldn’t bring myself to be. That’s the best indication I can give as to how my thought processes work.

I don’t quite know where to go from here. I know this was a negative post but there are some good points to it, such as that I know i’m capable of talking. i’m not utterly without reason, hope or clarity of mind.

Currently, i’m not alright, partly because I’m becoming more aware of how I feel but also external circumstances that I’m somehow managing to blame myself for?? However, I’m a hell of a lot more okay than I have been.

When in doubt, remember that people are there to listen. You may not think they care but they will listen to you; try to give yourself a chance more than anyone else.

How easy is it for you to open up?

From Elm 🙂

I’m Scared of You

This will make literally no sense but I’m writing it anyway.

Sometimes I just don’t understand how people can affect other people so much. Couldn’t you just get away? It’s only when I’m in that situation that I realise: no. You can’t.

When you’re in that situation too, you feel like you can’t get out. You’re constantly at the whim of how another person feels – it takes over your whole body and mind. It’s terrifying because you think you’re strong; you think you can just walk away: no, you can’t. Not at the flick of a switch.

My thoughts are in a bit of a tangle right now; I’m struggling between what’s morally “right” and what’s right for me. It makes me sad that this has even happened: it further makes me angry that I can’t talk about it on my blog: the one place where you’d think I could.

I almost want to cry. I’ve almost become addicted to worrying – worrying if I’ll upset someone, worrying that they’re not okay and then shouting at myself for doing one tiny thing that might screw everything up. I was given a reality check two or three days ago and here’s what somebody said in regards to it:

“I can’t do anything else – I’ve done my best. You need to do your best too, Elm; you can’t keep saying you’re going to get yourself away and going back. You’re going to make it so much worse for yourself – and if you’re really sick of it, then do something about it.”

I’ll speak as plainly as I can: I’m fucking done. I’m done with being controlled by other people’s emotions. I’m sick of being subject to my fear and I’m so tired of dancing around people to check that I’m not telling lies. I’m tired, sad, furious and most of all? I want to be free of it.

What I do in the next few days will make me seem like a terrible person to a few people but I can no longer care. It’ll seem callous of me to say that because to all intents and purposes, nobody has actually done anything recently to elicit this behaviour. They haven’t done anything to upset me: it’s what they did say before that made me feel so guilty which has set this off. It’s how I reacted to it; it’s controlling me and I hate that.

Situations are never as they seem at first glance. If people tell others how I’m acting now – how cruel I seem – they’d believe them as they have no other evidence to negate it. Perhaps I am that cruel but there are so many sides to it: I don’t know if people would ask “But why would she do that?” I don’t know if I would, if I was in their shoes. Here, it’s about making myself better – for once – and finally letting go of something I should have let go so long ago.

You never think that you’ll feel a certain way until you do. After how Ash affected my self worth, I thought I was done with always being obsessed with not upsetting people or being emotionally manipulated by guilt to act how I thought I needed to. I wasn’t – I’m not – and that’s a huge slap in the face. I don’t know what to do; I don’t know whether to get the entire situation away from me, whether that’s acting like a coward or whether I should just keep at a safe distance. Ugh.

I’m sorry that you can’t understand this because I can’t explain it but you guys listening and reading means the world. Remember that if something like this happens to you, don’t let it consume you. Get away – remove yourself from it – before you start walking down the spiral of “But I am guilty of hurting them; I’m awful.”

You’re stronger than this. I’m stronger than this but I’m scared of becoming so strong that I hurt people.

From Elm 🙂

Connecting to Myself Again

Lately, I’ve been feeling really “dulled”: my emotions have been dimmer; I don’t know how to react to much any more; I haven’t been feeling things as strongly and can’t express that. It took a walk on Saturday to figure that out and I remember just feeling numbed and blank as I walked through the park with my dad and then scared because of that.

Yesterday, I took a 2 hour walk in the same park, with my dad again. I’d gone home the previous day and just felt like I was floating around – the emotions I’ve been feeling for months finally able to be realised, felt and analysed. It’s not like it’s been constant: I’ve had a lot of times when I’ve felt perfectly fine, laughing and feeling and being happier than ever. This is like when I go to blind camp, when I meet bloggers especially and on days with my friends. When I’m at home, surrounded by people I don’t know, just thinking, existing or not doing much, I don’t feel as “with it” as I used to.

On yesterday’s walk, something changed. In an abstract way beforehand, I’d thought that I needed to really do something about my lack of expression – my quietness and how I’d withdrawn into myself. We went around the pond, walked into a garden in the park, strode along paths and grass; I was exhausted afterwards but it was more than worth it.

It was a beautiful day: the sun was shining, birds were screeching and children laughed. Dogs barked, I could hear my feet on the ground and the air didn’t feel heavy on my skin. Usually, I get guided by my dad and I hold his arm; yesterday, I walked mostly by myself, except when I was approaching a large group of people or when I nearly walked into a stream. It was freeing: I felt so bloody alive. Being surrounded by nature – trees, little waterfalls, bridges over lakes – put shit in perspective.

It was the simplicity of it: too often my head gets so crowded that it can’t process the thoughts and so it just, well, gives up; I’ve never been good at thinking in words but when the sensations that you think themselves aren’t as bright as they once were, everything can get hazy. Imagine nature as having had cleared a little of that fog. I felt calmed: not utterly, as the conversations with my dad were making me feel the appropriate sorts of emotions, but connected with the world enough to properly take in what was happening around me and what he was saying.

After we’d had an icecream and went home, I did some work. The key difference between yesterday and the day before was that I could do my work without my thoughts becoming blurry; I could think about it and not want to throw my computer across the room with frustration. One chapter and a half of Jane Eyre was fully analysed and I got a little inspiration to do some casual psychology revision. It’s remarkable what getting me away from the sometimes stagnant atmosphere of the indoors, the usual, can do to my health.

In the evening for dinner, I went round the house of Rose and Poppy and their family. I’ve known them all my life and I’ve never had to make an effort to keep up conversation with them: I love them like sisters; they put up with me and my stupid younger self. If they can deal with that, they can pretty much deal with any weirdness I display now. I sang with them, laughing with them and insulted them: the usual things we do. It was nothing out of the ordinary but that’s why I liked it.

I’ve come to the conclusion that I really haven’t been feeling emotions like you’d expect me to. It took Saturday and yesterday – the realisations versus feeling truly alive again – for me to notice that my attitude, my thoughts, have been so… Quiet. So out of place and silenced, shall we say.

It took those two days to know that I could do something about that. Put me in the midst of nature, happiness or somewhere where I feel utterly comfortable and where I love my surroundings and you have yourself a properly connected and self-aware Elm. I think that I need to start finding ways to remember what things feel like without paranoia and worry, like I did in the park.

For me, this is positive. I know how to mend what’s happening, having only come to the conclusion that it was happening recently. However, the fact that I so quickly did something about it – perhaps not intentionally but it was still done – shows me that deep down, I’m not just an empty shell.

From Elm 🙂

The Stay Strong Tag

Hi guys,
I’m sorry for not posting this sooner; a family friend who used to live next door to my dad died two days ago and although I wasn’t close to him, it still saddens me and so I’ve been a little out of sorts since yesterday evening.

I’m going to do a tag today which is quite personal to me.

This is the Stay Strong Tag. Created by Penny from My Life Anonymously, it’s a way to talk about, raise awareness for and to help people through suicide and experiences associated with it. If this topic triggers anybody, I’m really sorry; I thought I would put a warning up now just in case.

There are two rules to this tag:
1. Put the Supergirl (or Superman image if you’re a guy) on your post.
2. Mention the creator of the tag and provide a link.

Some people hear about others killing themselves and glance over it – “Oh, that’s sad”, and move on; “I wonder how that happened,” and then they go onto do something else; “Couldn’t they have waited until things got a bit better – was killing themselves really necessary?” and then quickly look away, not realising how much their words can hurt.

Suicide is not selfish. It’s not the coward’s way out. It’s a last scream for help when people think others aren’t listening; it’s a way out when people don’t think they have any other option; it’s a tragedy but not something that people can just “stop doing” because if you want to die, you sometimes can’t get rid of those feelings and save them for a more ‘convenient’ time.

I have never wanted to kill myself or tried, but on occasions I’ve wanted to die: cease existing, just end, not permanently but for a bit. It doesn’t make sense, but in those moments I was absolutely terrified. Although I knew that I would never kill myself – never truly try to – I knew I wanted to die, and that I thought that the world would not even blink at my passing. I thought and still think life is pointless sometimes, and that if I were to just die, it wouldn’t matter. Because my self-esteem and self-worth is low, I go through periods of feeling miserable and scared.

I’m telling you this because I want you to know that I understand a little of what you may go through. That feeling that people just don’t care? I understand. But I also understand being proved wrong.

When I was 11, one of my relatives tried to kill themselves, and I woke up to them screaming. It is singularly one of the worst memories I have ever experienced, and ever since then when I had what you may term ‘suicidal thoughts’, I remember the horror of that night, of not understanding, of realising years later that there was so much I could have done to help. I was only 11, and realistically couldn’t have done much because I didn’t know what they were going through at the time, but the guilt still remained. It’s no use dwelling on guilt, though, and so I had to move on: it’s stayed with me though, and made me realise that for everything, people still care.

If you feel like you want to die, the best thing you can do is talk about it. Nobody knows the true extent to how bad my thoughts used to get, and I wish I had felt brave enough to talk to someone about it. Remember that people are here to listen to you, and won’t shun your problems. Either they’ve experienced it themselves, know someone who has or can empathise with you.

People do care – more than you’d think. If you feel like your friends can’t help you, and your family wouldn’t talk to you, contact a professional. There are many suicide prevention hotlines which you can contact, and websites which you can visit. You are not alone, because there are a myriad of people who will gladly extend a hand to you. Take that first step to get help: and if you can’t, someone else can. Concerned for you, people will go out of their way to make sure you’re okay.

Anyone could tell these things to you, but I’m telling as a friend. I know what it’s like to feel like you’re screaming and no one’s hearing you, and not being able to let people hear you. It’s so terrifying to reach out, but you can do it. You aren’t just a statistic, a number in a list.

You can’t be expected to recover in a day: it takes time, but don’t give up. Don’t ever give up on yourself because if you feel like nobody cares about you, it’s up to you to start caring about your health. You’re not worthless.

Don’t suffer in silence: the world needs your voice.

Love from Elm 🙂

I Should have Known This Would Happen

Right. I’ve had it up to here with my bullshit.

When I started to feel bad at the beginning of the week, I should have suspected that things would go downhill, and so should have prepared for the fallout of my thoughts. In the time when I was more okay, I should have done more work, in preparation for the time when I just couldn’t. That time has come, I haven’t done enough, and I’ve realised that this could easily have been prevented. Or… Could it?

Today, I had horrendous stomach pains, and was so physically and mentally exhausted that when I woke up, I felt hopeless and awful and like I couldn’t face the day. So, I took the day off school, exaggerating my stomach ache and downplaying my mental exhaustion because I was just too tired to explain it. I felt – and feel – ashamed, and angry at myself, as if I’d given up – which of course I haven’t, but it felt like at the first sign of weakness, I’d just… Stopped.

When I woke up again after four hours of sleep, in the weird darkness of my room that felt wrong because it was so late, I felt… Okay. Still not good, but more okay, not as if I was about to break into pieces like I had this morning.

I took time for myself, relaxing as best as I could, trying desperately not to panic or hate myself to a large degree. After taking care of my skin a little, eating and listening to music, I did some work. Not enough, but it was a little victory.

I got lost in the reading of Jane Eyre, where words just flowed over me. They were beautiful, and when I read, I go into a quiet space where only the descriptions and I exist. Though I didn’t read much more of Othello, I looked over my notes on it, remembering about all the characters. I don’t even want to think about the disaster that is my notes for The Great Gatsby, which I wrote last term in my phase which I like to call “Elm Wreckage 2.0.”

That, unfortunately, was it. I emailed my history teacher to sort out the work, cried a bit when I thought about my French essay, and shed some further tears on the fact that I felt I was useless. It feels like a never-ending spiral, and if I tried hard enough, I could just get out of it. I could do more work, could get the motivation – because I’m doing less than is even required by the class teacher.

It sickens me that it’s taken me this long to even start to smash myself back together. This has nothing to do with the state of my love life, or anything to that effect: this is just me, all me, and my mental health which is becoming unchecked and wild. However, I think I’m blowing this up in my head to be worse than it is, as I tend to do; if I just TRIED, I could do this.

I don’t try enough. I become overwhelmed, get distracted, and then do nothing. It breaks me when I remember that I can’t help the girl I’m mentoring tomorrow, because I won’t be there as I have an annual review about my statement (disability thing) and she, someone who needs me and wants me to help her, is one of the people who holds it all together in her own little way. I need to do something, to get help or to figure out my thoughts before they run away with me.

It starts tomorrow. I don’t give a shit if I feel crap tomorrow: this has gone on long enough. Healing starts with me, and it’ll only start if I truly want to get entirely better. I’ve been languidly floating along until now, shoved along by a vague purpose, but that purpose snapped and broke and so I have aro create a new one.

Though it upsets me that I’ll have to do ! so much just to get my crap together and even more to succeed, I have to do it. Where will I be if I don’t? Today wasn’t me giving up; I realise that now.

Today was me giving myself a break, whilst simultaneously coming to the conclusion that I’m very lonely and sad and will remain so for a long time, the only thing changing being my motivation levels. It was almost me accepting that I’ve got to a state that’s separate to my crisis of mental health over the last three months – which wasn’t even that serious. Oh, it’s linked and caused by the low mood I was already in, and the lack of motivation goes back very far, but this time I know it’s me.

Because it’s me, I have to sort it out. I have to be brave enough to tell myself that enough is enough, I’m able to do this, and existing isn’t just enough any more. For my own sake, and for the sakes of people who I’m not sure even care about me any more. For those people, I’ll prove I can be closer to the person I was – filled with the true will to live.

Now, I just need to take my own advice, and put things into action. How, when I feel so panicky? The state of my notes is atrocious, I’m finding it hard to organise myself, and that’s all from before Christmas; I kicked myself into shape over the holiday, then regressed back to this. How am I supposed to clear up the myriad of crap from before then?

I’ll do it. I’ll stand the fuck up and try, try, try, and even if I fall again I’ll get up; even if people don’t understand what I’m doing, I’ll get up, because this is for me.

If you’re going through something similar, don’t forget that you can’t get better in a night. It takes time, and yes it’s hard, but I’ll be struggling right alongside you. There’ll be times when we’ll give up, and cry, and scream because we just don’t want to do it any more. I’m getting scared just thinking about those times, and I’m trying to stop one of those from approaching right now.

I knew this would happen, but after writing this, I know that I couldn’t have done anything. Being too emotionally sick to go to school was the spark that caused this: without that, I’m sure I would have got worse. Maybe I still will, but maybe I won’t.

From Elm 🙂

Getting Help

This morning, I didn’t want to wake up because I was so incredibly sick of feeling the awful emotional pain that I’ve been feeling for the last month, that was especially amplified yesterday after a situation that happened.

That terrifies me.

To know that your mind is so tired, and that you are so miserable that you inactively want to just stop for a bit – is something that has shaken me so badly. In all my periods of wanting to disappear, I’ve never woken up feeling so hopeless. I never want to wake up like that again.

It was partly this, the emotions and situations I’ve experienced recently and the encouragement of my friends that has pushed me into really considering getting professional help, in some sort of form. A few months ago I would have never considered that, because I’m eternally convinced that there’s nothing wrong with me and that I’m making it up – but that just shows me that I need it, because I’m not fine and I think I have some unresolved issues that I’ve refused to address.

After I published this post, both Ivy and Wren messaged me. Both of them are amazing friends of mine, always there for me, and they know pretty much all sides of me. They said the same thing: “I’m worried about you, Elm.” “I really think you should consider seeing someone because we can only do so much.”

Yesterday, before everything kicked off, I told my dad that I maybe wanted to see a therapist, if I could find one. It was one of the most nerve-wracking yet casual conversations ever: I told him how I was feeling, that I was worried, and not that I didn’t think it was serious. As much as I’m convinced it isn’t, I think I owe it to myself to do something about it.

Then, what I like to term “Elm Breakage 3.0” happened. I won’t go into what exactly I “broke” from because privacy’s important, but I’ve never felt that guilty for crying in my life.

I paced around my room, gripped my hands together until it was just below painful, and then was on the floor sobbing. I’m only telling you this to set the scene: over the next 3 hours, I cried on and off, heart feeling like it was being destroyed all over again. The sheer horror of it, confusion as to why it had to happen now, and just general pain stacked up into a tower of spiralling thoughts. At midnight I walked into my dad’s room and cried, and barely got any sleep.

This is exactly why I’m quite worried. I can’t carry on like this, even though all of me wants to curl up. If it was just the cheating, I’d be more okay, but it’s lingering feelings of utter worthlessness. The skin below my eyes was slightly red this morning, and when I felt it it was a little sore. That’s not good, and neither is not sleeping much.

At break, I spoke to Red; it was so refreshing to talk to him about everything. As I spoke, my eyes widened and I could barely hold back tears. He understood me, though, and I think out of all of my friends he gets how I literally can’t move on right now. There was no judgement, no “you’ll be fine’s!”s from him that rang of empty promises; like with the majority of my friends, he knows that I can’t be okay for a while because I have to deal with these terrifying emotions.

Something that he said really hit home. “Maybe you’ll move on in a few months. Maybe you never really will.” Unfortunately, I know my own mind when it comes to this, and it takes me a long time to move on from people. It makes it especially difficult as S and I were good friends before all of this for years, knowing each part of the other from cringy pre-teen to now. The fact is, similarly to Ash, he’ll always be in the back of my mind. Unlike Ash, it’s not toxic to me, and I’m ready to accept that. I’m going to write a post on the parallels and differences to how I felt in both situations, at some point.

Now, I know that I need some sort of help. Yesterday, I got to the point where I felt bad for even telling someone that I felt bad. I questioned every single thing I’d ever said to S, to anyone; all of the conversations and tears and attention-seeking comments I’d made ripping away at me.

As Wren said, I’m pretty certain I have a fair few self-esteem problems, along with an unhealthy dose of disgust towards myself. Currently, I hate myself for various reasons, not least because of the things I’ve said to people that I thought were right at the time:
“I feel so miserable.”
“You’re so lucky, you know?”
“Yeah, it’s irritating because if I say how it really is, I’ll cry my eyes out and not be able to get up for a long time.”

There’s too much of it: feelings, pain, denial. I refuse to admit I have any serious problems, because that’s so disrespectful to those that do. I’m just having a “mental cold” right now, and pretending it’s something else won’t do me any good.

Still, any problem with mental health should be addressed. I can’t do this on my own, not when it feels like it’s choking me. Not when I am still telling myself that nobody really cares. Illogical maybe, but I’ve lost trust in everything, and that includes myself.

You should always get help if you need it. Even if you don’t think you need it, if someone else does think you do, listen to them. Whether I’m going because my friends want me to go or because Ow want to get help, either way, it may make me better. That’s what matters.

It won’t happen overnight. It won’t happen for a long time; I’m not deluding myself. I still don’t understand how they can be happy when I’m so entirely horrific, when I feel like I’m drowning in a sea of hurt. In the end, it’s just life.

I’m scared of me, of how I could think. I’m scared of who I could become, of letting go, of finally losing all hope. Because of that, I’m going to get help. Somehow.

From Elm 🙂

If I Shout Loud Enough

For the past hour, I’ve been on the edge of a complete emotional breakdown. Crying, sobbing, overwhelming pain – I can feel it just behind my eyes and in my heart, but it hasn’t broken out yet.

I suppose a total breakdown is overdue. I haven’t had one in two weeks – not since I saw S last – and that has made it so that now, I feel empty and numb. God knows how I’ll write this post, because earlier I was burning up with such sadness that I could barely breathe.

As stupid as this sounds, I feel like not many people properly care about me. That’s the root of the problem, isn’t it? But it’s not even that.

I know that people care about me. When it comes to the S situation, though, I feel as if I’m shouting into a void where no one’s listening. You guys listen, and about three of my friends, but apart from that? I don’t know who to turn to. In short, I don’t know what to do.

Two nights ago, I cried. Pitiful sobs, tears sliding down my face and onto my pillow, and it was the most awful feeling in the world. Then and now, I felt hollow and like my heart was bursting. It’s rare that I cry on my own, but there was an exception for that night; nobody knew about it because I was ashamed.

It hit me earlier that I feel attention-seeking. I am lonely, even when surrounded by people, but I feel like if I say something, people will laugh at me and not do anything about it. That goes for everything else – when does my pain get “old”? When do people no longer want to hear about it, when do they get sick of me constantly going on about it?

This specific worry has caused me to shut myself off a little. At the moment, I genuinely don’t think I’m worth the effort of having people ask me if I’m okay, yet still my little heart begs for it. I find that awful, but what else can I do?

“You alright?”
“Yep, I’m fine!” but they see the slight not-fine on my face. I’ve managed to hide most of it, so that people don’t see the true extent of how I feel inadequate, like I’m nothing. It’s payed off, because I can distract myself, but on days like these I can’t hold the raw hurt back.

It’s not that I blame S or Pansy – though I was cheated on, it wasn’t them that created this chaos in my head. Rather, it’s the situation plus all of the things that have happened over the past year, building up into a crescendo of god-awful mental health. If this carries on, I’ll become much more concerned, and I’ll get help for it even if I don’t think I deserve it.

Why I’m Feeling Awful
• I’m pretty sure I’m being ignored by a fair few people and I can’t deal with that because I’m pathetic
• I can’t move on at all
• Every day they’ll be making happy and funny memories with each other and I won’t be
• I miss multiple people so much that I feel cold
• I tried to finish a song that I’m performing tomorrow and I couldn’t and now I feel disgusting
• I know that I’m overreacting
• I’m scared that I’m going to scratch at myself
• I’m scared that I want to

One day, I’ll be okay but I’m so far from that now that I can’t kid myself that it’ll be soon. All of this has had far-reaching consequences on my mental state, such as the growing fear that I’ll never be enough for anyone and that I should give the fuck up. I’m half-laughing because never would I have thought this would be how I’d be feeling.

Why is it like this? Why do I feel so helpless, and why do I want to show people that? I shouldn’t, because that’s manipulative and cruel, but I suppose that’s human nature.

I’m shaking; tears are finally spilling over. Good. Maybe if I cry, it can get the misery out a bit. All I can feel is this dull pain whenever I think of them together, because I’m so drained. I’m not happy and they are and hell, the reality of that feels like a mark on my skin.

Replacement makes you feel shit. I want to be enough, to be held and loved but I can’t deal with that. My thoughts are ragged and alone and huddled in a corner because I’ve let them out. Not being able to write that song today caused the most accute feeling of self-hatred, further amplified by the knowledge that how I spoke to him before will never happen again.

I don’t know how to explain how truly bad I feel, but I hope I’ve shown you a little. It’s good that you can get inside my head, that you respect me enough to read my posts.

Perhaps if I scream loud enough, someone will hear. Perhaps if I stay silent, people can move on with their lives and love who they want to love without feeling guilty because of me. Because really, am I worth anything? I was a first, and the first is never usually the last.

I have no clue.

From Elm 🙂

Unleashing My Paranoia

I’ve been in a constant state of paranoia all day. Heart pumping, eyes staring into nothing, limbs feeling cold, and my head running through all of the worst possibilities. It all stems from something that happened yesterday, which I wish I could talk about, but that’s what comes with showing your blog to people who know you in real life. Luckily, I’m not bitter about THAT.

I thought, to make me feel better and to clear my head from some of these screaming thoughts, I’d write it down. How I feel, my worries, how my mindset was pinging back and forth all day – as much as I can. I’m sorry in advance; you know I love you guys and wouldn’t subject you to this shit if you didn’t want to read it.

Instead of my usual, shrieking/ranty posts, I thought I’d be a bit rebellious – erm, I mean DIFFERENT. I’ll write the thoughts in a list, and then a tiny explanation, so that you can get inside my head a little.

In No Particular Order: Elm’s Paranoid, and Nonsensical, Thoughts Throughout the Day:

They don’t actually give a shit, you know that right?
I seemed to have got it into my head that nobody cared about me, and that I was a worthless piece of crap. I was sitting there, not talking to anyone and letting those awful thoughts wash over me, convincing myself that I was right and that I might as well give up on trying to be friendly or anything. Then, I kicked myself into shape and realised that was bullshit – even if people don’t care, I should always be friendly and kind to people, because that’s just in my nature.

Oh well done – you thought you could walk in a straight line by yourself?!
We had Prizegiving rehearsal today. On top of stressing about what I’ll wear tomorrow, we had to go up and get our prize (well it wasn’t there then but it will be tomorrow). I decided it was a fantastic idea to do it myself: a girl took me to the start of where we had to walk, and I just… I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t see the teacher at all, got confused, and I’ve never felt that humiliated because it was with SO many of the other students. It was like I was a child, stupid, not able to do anything all over again and it frustrated me, as I could almost imagine the pitying gazes and the “awww look she’s doing it by herself!” stuff I often get from people that don’t know me.

You will never ever be good enough. Ever. Deal with it.
There is this girl. She always seems to have what I have but better, do what I do but BETTER, and like what I like but… Better, and have more access to it (that makes it sound like a museum WOW). It’s the one thing I resent, the one thing that makes me want to sob in a corner until my skin turns to tears. It’s simple jealousy, but it’s been magnified and twisted: I can’t even hate her because she’s a lovely person and I hope she’ll be really happy because she deserves it more than anyone I know. But because of it, I’ve been feeling inadequate and like I am literally nothing, like I’m just a second, a hut compared to a mansion. Oh well – it’ll pass. It’s rather petty and pathetic.

You’re just pretending, you fake bitch
Then, I told myself nothing about me was genuine. That I was just floating along, not showing anyone my true self. Hiding, conniving, being awful; my mind doesn’t work in rational ways sometimes which is why I thought THAT. Not even smiling with my friends made it any better, because I then told myself that I shouldn’t be smiling, then that I SHOULD because it’s better to pretend you’re fucking happy. After that was when the “you’re fake” thoughts bombarded my brain.

It’s going to happen, so you might as well prepare yourself
But god it hurts. This is related to what happened yesterday, and my mind has been howling about it for the last 12 hours and I just can’t. Without explaining anything, I’ll summarise how I feel:
1. It’s no one’s fault
2. I don’t blame anyone
3. I will probably get hurt, but that’s life and I’ll eventually learn to deal with it
4. But I don’t want to and I just want everyone to be happy, and if that means me not being happy then I’m honestly alright with that

And this is the root of the problem, isn’t it? This THING, that realistically, I should accept and yes: I’m not angry, but I’m sad. I don’t like things potentially going to shit. Who knows, though? I have to trust myself, trust the people who mean the most to me, and trust that the people I DON’t know so well won’t indirectly hurt me.

It hasn’t happened yet, but it might. It could, and I hate it, but what CAN I do? Apart from be cryptic and not make sense, that is.

Here’s another point to add to the list: as always, I’m scared that writing this post is too much. That people will read it and feel guilty, and I don’t want that. It wouldn’t be fair, but I’m doing it anyway.

No. I’m doing this for ME, to prove I can be okay, and to prove I still have a voice. Over the last year, I’ve become someone who accepts situations after trying to understand them, and I’m proud of myself for that. However, if people do read this and notice what I’m implying (congrats if you do because only two people know the full story and one of them’s me), I want you to know that I will be fine. It may not seem like it, but a lot of the bitterness and sadness has been leeched out by this post, as funny as that is.

I’m just one girl in one situation. What I have to do is carry on with my life, loving who I want and feeling as happy as I can, no matter what will come my way. Because screw getting knocked down over and over. Damn jealousy and all its sisters, and an extra-special PISS OFF to bitterness.

I won’t fight BACK; I’ll just keep on existing and if that’s not good enough, I’ll make it good enough. Paranoia hurts and it cycles through my brain all the time, but it’s not very bad.

I’m not in the habit of making things out to be worse than they are. As much as I’m not the best right now, I know that I’ll pick myself up. I’m still stable, still solid in my friendships and relationship, still OKAY.

If you ever feel paranoid, or feel how I’m feeling now, do talk to someone. Don’t let yourself feel lonely when you’re surrounded by people, or quiet in a sea of noise.

I don’t feel great. I still feel as if I’m not much, despite everyone trying to tell me I matter to them. It’s part of my personality, that I don’t believe people until they say it over and over, which seems needy.

Sorry that this post is so disjointed and jumbled; it’s mainly for me – but it’s also for you to understand me more.

Oh, who cares? I’ll just live for once.

Love from Elm 🙂

Antics of a Soon-To-Be Peer Mentor

Unless something goes horribly wrong in the next… 5 days, I’m halfway to becoming a peer mentor. I completed 2 of the 4 hours of training today and it was so so bloody fabulous; I’m still smiling from it.

If you don’t know what a peer mentor is, take a look at this post and if you’re still confused, then let me know and I can explain it better. I was looking forward to today’s training so much – not knowing what to expect, of course. That was good, because how it turned out was so much better than I could have hoped for.

Oak – a friend of mine who’s also got sight issues – is also doing peer mentoring, so I walked up to the place where it was with him, another one of our friends and the friend I made on Wednesday, who recently moved to this country. That part’s boring: we took our seats, got some water to stay hydrated, and waited around for some latecomers to turn up.

The man who led our training was called John. I don’t know why, but I thought it would just be him talking at us, that it would be dull but I’d suffer through it. Oh, how wrong I was!

John is one of the most engaging “instructors” I know. He first organised us into groups – both years 10 and 12 were there, meaning that I knew barely anyone in the room. I’m very glad that no one I knew was in my group: there were 5 of us, 3 from year 10 and 2 (including me) from year 12.

At first, it was kind of awkward. We had to say what WE thought made a good listener, all of the qualities. I contributed, heart in my mouth, but they took my ideas and wrote them down. Slowly, the other people in the “circle” spoke up, letting ideas flow from us. We all wanted to be there, and we showed that with our words and our voices – we had moments of laughter, especially later on, but we weren’t acting like it was all stupid. I didn’t know them, only knowing the existence of the other girl from my year, and not knowing anyone’s name until I overheard it, or asked like I did with the boy on my right. I spoke confidently, but with a quiet voice; the part of me I wanted to show was out there, so that the unknown people in my group could see it.

John didn’t speak to us like we were idiots. He talked to us as if we were adults, laying out plainly what was expected of us, but in a way that didn’t make it seem like a lecture. After the feedback about being a good listener – fit with a painfully awkward moment where he misunderstood what the girl in my year was trzing to explain and I had to clarify, speaking into the silence of 30 people – he asked us to get into birth date order.

Mine was ridiculously easy, being the last day of the year, so I laughed, stood up and stayed exactly where I was. People organised themselves around me, asking me when my birthday was and exclaiming in surprise: the only person who got more attention for it was the boy who was born on Christmas Eve. He and I exchanged a few laughs, standing next to each other; I think he was in year 10. The point of that exercise was to improve communication with people we didn’t know, and it made me even more confident, letting me smile and not feel so on-edge.

Organised into different groups again, we lined up – though I had no idea what was going on. After John took about five minutes to organise us, making everyone laugh, we played a game of what I can only call glorrified Chinese whispers (Why IS it called that, anyway?). I’ve never laughed so hard: Oak was standing to my left, and to my right was the sister of a girl in my French class. She was lovely, and whilst the game was going on, we giggled and chatted about mentoring, life and our terrible memories. It was almost surreal to be talking to someone, her treating me with NO caution and just sobbing whilst cackling.

Put it this way – when it got to the end, the phrase transformed into “How many boarmongers were boarmongers were born?” and I have never been unable to speak for such a long period of time whilst I clutch my stomach. Don’t even ask me what the original phrase was, because I was laughing too hard to hear it. After we all calmed down, we returned to our original groups, and John tasked us to write what makes a good mentor. Not surprisingly, a lot of the things were similar to the first thing we had to do – as they were read out, I asked myself: am I any of these?

Whilst all of that was going on, I started talking to the guy in year 10 to the right of me – we’ll call him Steve, for the hell of it. He reminded me of a male version of Wren and Swan combined, and here’s some of the snatches of conversation we managed to have in between John talking.

“Woah, this paper’s weird.”
“Yeah, it’s kinda like cardboard and a bit like paper.”
“So a cross?”
“Yah!”
“Carper. Or Pard.”
“OHMYGOD STEVE NO THAT SOUNDS DISGUSTING!”

He also said that he had a crush on a guy for 2 years, then found out his name was also Steve. We flailed around for a while when I overheard him say “…And I’ll stab you!” out of context, and before we moved into our final pairs, John’s talking was sometimes punctuated by bursts of laughter. I still linstened to everything John said, though, because it was important.

After that, I worked with another girl for 5 minutes (she had to go to a concert and so she left early). She’s what you might call popular, but I found out today she was lovely – we commented on our awful posture, she laughed at things I said and it was amazing. After she had to go, John worked with me and asked me what qualities I thought I possessed that would make me a good mentor.

“Um, I think I’m a good listener, understanding… Empathetic? I’m able to deal with difficult situations and…”
“You know what I think you are, Elm?”
“Ahh… What?”
“I think you have something that’s so important – kindness. You’re resiliant, too, from what I can tell.”
“Oh god thank you, John!”

I’ve never been so touched at something an adult said. It’s one thing for your friends to compliment you, but for someone who doesn’t know you at all to do that? It kind of shows me that expressing my “true” self is working.

Next, we practiced some listening skills (I worked with the other boy in year 10 who’s good at computer programming, my friend who I made on Wednesday and then Oak.) Trying to draw round the former two’s hands was hilarious, because I got pen everywhere. YES, that can happen, as I discovered.

Oak and our other friend (there are too many people) waited with me for my taxi to come and pick me up. When you laugh extremely loudly in an empty school, it echoes eerily. In the cold air, it was nice to shriek at nothing in particular.

Something I found out today was that Willow HAS A BOYFRIEND! They met each other at college and when she told me today, I literally screamed and jumped up and down, getting some pretty weird comments from Oak. Oh well – I’m so incredibly happy for her, because she deserves this; I can tell that she’s over the moon and that makes me smile.

All in all, I’ve had a wonderful day. I really feel like I’m doing something with myself, with my life; this is going to give me something to look forward to. I’m not just existing, not just floating in a sea of work. The other mentors aren’t my friends yet, but we WILL work as a team, and I can already tell that I’m going to be able to trust these people, simply because I CAN show them who I actually am. No laughter to hide it, only laughter to emphasise it. No more faces to hide behind: just me, myself and bloody I.

If you can’t find a reason to live, then you can create one. This isn’t my reason, but it’s part of it. I’m not the perfect person or mentor, but I can learn.

Do you think I’m up for it?

From Elm 🙂